Born: No­vem­ber 27, 1830, Bos­ton, Mas­sa­chu­setts.

Died: Sep­tem­ber 10, 1895, Bos­ton, Mas­sa­chu­setts.

Buried: Mount Au­burn Ce­me­te­ry, Cam­bridge, Mas­sa­chu­setts.


Harrison was the son of Sam­uel Mill­ard and Ma­ria Ham, and hus­band of Lau­ra V. Thomp­son.

At age eight, he joined a Bo­ston choir, and at 10 sang in the chorus of the Han­del and Haydn society as an al­to.

His voice changed to a te­nor, and on one oc­ca­sion, around age 15, dur­ing the ab­sence of the prin­ci­pal ten­or, he sang in the or­a­to­rio Sam­son.

In 1851, Mill­ard went to Eur­ope and spent three years stu­dy­ing un­der the best mas­ters in It­aly.

He then spent some time in Lon­don, ap­pear­ing at va­ri­ous mu­sic­al ven­ues as a te­nor, and tra­veled with Ca­the­rine Hayes in Ire­land and Scot­land.

While abroad, he wrote con­sid­er­a­ble mu­sic, and was a fre­quent con­trib­ut­or to Dwight’s Jour­nal of Mu­sic and oth­er Am­er­ican mu­sic­al pub­li­ca­tions.

In 1854, Mill­ard re­turned to Am­er­ica, sett­ling in Bos­ton, giv­ing vo­cal les­sons and sing­ing at con­certs.

Two years later, he moved to New York. In 1859, he pro­duced his first im­port­ant song, Vi­va La Am­er­ica, which was ve­ry suc­cess­ful.

Upon the out­break of the Am­er­ican ci­vil war, Mill­ard en­tered the ar­my and was com­miss­ioned a first lieu­ten­ant in the 19th New York Re­gi­ment.

After four years ser­vice, he was se­ver­ely wound­ed in the Battle of Chick­a­mau­ga, ren­dered un­fit for du­ty, and sent home.

Not long af­ter, he was of­fered a po­si­tion in the cus­tom house, which he held un­til at least 1881.


Millard wrote about 300 songs (in­clud­ing the pa­tri­ot­ic song Flag of the Free); near­ly 400 adapt­a­tions of French, Ger­man and Ital­ian works; ma­ny an­thems; 4 church ser­vic­es; 4 Te Deu­ms; a grand mass; a ve­sper; and Deb­o­rah, a four-act Ital­ian opera.

His oth­er works in­clude: